Preparing to write your will is a daunting prospect and it involves a lot of time and consideration. It can’t be a decision made on a whim, it requires you to think long term and carefully prioritise how you assign your valuables, such as property and heirlooms.
Due to the significance that comes with this document, here at Flackwoods we aim to offer a guiding hand to ensure your will is an accurate reflection of how you would like to deal with your most important assets.
You can now use our guide to the top five things to think about when preparing to write your will.
1. Guardianship of children
Many people will decide to write their will after the birth of a child. In doing this you are securing your wishes for the future of your children if you and your partner are no longer around.
If you have young children, one of the things you must do in your will is nominate another person to care for them until they are legally adults.
There are a few things that you should consider when choosing a guardian for your children:
- Consider who your children have close bonds with, a family member or friend
- The similarities of your lifestyle and religious views
- Their location and whether this would impact your children’s lifestyle in anyway
- Can they handle it, physically, financially and emotionally?
- You can also include your personal wishes for your children such as where they should reside, who they should see, type of education and even more minor details such as pocket money. All of this information can be stored with the will for access by the guardians.
The next thing to think about is listing your assets. Noting your assets down in categories is advised and annotating each item with the approximate value could also be beneficial.
If you own significant assets, such as a house, additional properties or cars correctly identify whether you own this assets independently or with someone else. Make sure you also know where your certificate of title for your house is, missing or lost titles are expensive to replace after someone passes away.
3. Appointing an executor
Your executor is a person or organisation appointed by you to carry out all of your final wishes after you’ve passed away. Pick carefully because your executor becomes responsible for managing all of your estate. Generally if you are appointing an individual it is advised you choose someone who is a named beneficiary of the estate or not and weigh up the pros and cons of doing so. You can read more about what an executor of a will does here.
Beneficiaries are the persons, charities or organisations that you wish to benefit from your will. You may want them to receive specific gifts or share in your residuary estate.
A person of any age can be a beneficiary and items, assets or money can form part of a beneficiary’s entitlement.
5. How you write your will.
There’s a wide variety of websites that offer programmes and tools for do-it-yourself wills, however few people have a financial situation that’s so simple that they don’t need a lawyer. These ‘write it yourself’ wills may seem cost effective and time savvy but they are often not signed and finalised correctly. This is your whole life’s worth, so it needs to be precise and legitimate.
To avoid mistakes, reduce tax payments and potentially save your family money down the road, it is advised that you use a solicitor. Flackwoods offer a will writing service that ensures you make an informed and reasoned decision as to how to provide for your family and friends following your death. We do not just write your Will, we give you professional qualified legal advice as part of a full service.